A jury has acquitted, Jaleel Stallings who was arrested and charged with two counts of attempted murder after firing shots in Minneapolis at police officers during a protest sparked by the death of George Floyd.
In May 2020, Stallings attended a peaceful protest that quickly escalated into violence.
FOX 9 released a body camera video showing the altercation. The video captures police firing 40mm rubber marking pellets followed quickly by Stallings firing from his handgun.
The footage also shows SWAT officers Officer Justin Stetson and Sgt. Andrew Bittell kicking and punching Stallings while he is down on the ground. The two said that Stallings, whose face was visibly bruised in the mugshot, was resisting arrest.
Stallings said he acted in self-defense and before he realized the people shooting at him were police officers and did not resist arrest when he was beaten by the officers.
According to the Associated Press, Stallings’ attorney said that the 29-year-old used a self-defense argument to defend himself during the trial in July.
“Stallings said he thought he was being attacked by civilians in the area when he fired three bullets at an unmarked white van and that he started firing the shots after he was hit in the chest by a non-lethal rubber bullet. Apparently, it was only then that he realized he fired at the officers, none of whom were struck in the incident. He reportedly surrendered to authorities when he realized that he fired shots in their direction.”
In a statement, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said, “that part of the judge’s decision noted context is important, and that the officers had just been through four days of rioting, looting, arson, and the burning of the third precinct. Peaceful protests sometimes quickly escalated to violence.”